I wanted to write a piece on Chelsea Cameron, an inspirational young woman who has went through a lot in life at such a young age, but her story has inspired many around not just Dundee, not just Scotland but across the whole of the UK.
You may of heard of Chelsea Cameron, an inspirational young woman from Dundee who was featured notably in the media throughout the past year after writing a letter to thank her parents who were drug addicts.
Chelsea grew up in the Menzieshill area of Dundee with her parents who were drug addicts. A former student of Menzieshill High School, she was forced to deal with these problems at a young age and had experienced a lot of distress as a child after her mother walked out on the family which left her father in distress and this did have an impact on Chelsea as she was almost excluded from school but she decided enough was enough and she managed to turn things around and later became head girl at Menzieshill.
But in the open letter that she released on her blog last year, Chelsea had thanked her parents for teaching her to be independent, ambitious and to stay clear of drugs.
Thank you for teaching me that taking drugs ruins lives, breaks families apart and gives no-one a quality of life worth living.
Chelsea has since been featured not just in the local media, but also the mainstream media where she has spoken out about her childhood and her parent’s drug problems. Chelsea appeared on BBC News, the Victoria Derbyshire Show, STV News among many others where she wanted to spread her story with others.
And not only did she appear in the media, she also got to meet First Minister Nicola Sturgeon after she was invited by Nicola after hearing her story. The First Minister has continued to follow Chelsea’s story with ‘great interest and admiration’.
Life is not sunshine and rainbows and thank you for teaching me that life is unfair, people disappoint you and there’s sometimes nothing you can do about that. A lesson well learnt from the both of you.
Her mother Tammy spoke of her pride for her daughter and had felt ashamed of her past actions:
No child should have to go through what Chelsea did and live that kind of life. I am ashamed and upset at my behaviour and am so sorry and so proud of her.
And not only is her family proud of her, we as a whole are proud of her because what Chelsea shows is that you don’t have to end up following in the footsteps of your parents, you can be someone different, someone incredible and someone who has a bright and positive future ahead of yourself, that is why I believe Chelsea is an inspiration.
It’s my hope and desire to continue to speak up for young people, to speak up for changes being made in our society which decreases stigma against children with parents who suffer from addiction, to speak up for the gift of choice but most of all to speak up and show people a positive side to life in this ever growing world of chaos.
Dundee’s Young People is a series of features showcasing and celebrating the talents of Dundee’s young people during the Year of Young People in 2018 launched by the Scottish Government. A project designed by Dundee Culture to let audiences know about the impact young people have in Dundee.